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  • Writer's pictureRande Vick

Growth Hacking 101

Updated: Mar 9

Strategies for Moving Forward into the Next Normal

Some 25 years ago - August 11, 1994 to be precise - a kid in New Hampshire sold a copy of Sting’s CD “ Ten Summoner’s Tales”. Sold through his website, this was the first fully encrypted credit card sale in the history of the interwebs. Since then, things have changed a little.

Last year was the year of dread - the year that has earned itself the reputation of thee worst year in modern history. Satan’s soul-mate, if you’re in the know. But in the ick of 2020, from its humble beginnings, eCommerce jumped a whopping 44% in the US YoY. Yes, in good ole ‘Murica, internet shoppers spent $861.12 billion as the pandemic forced them to the web for necessities - some of them spending their money online for the first time ever. Odds are that some of those new-found habits are going to stick, at least to some degree. Sure, as stores reopen and some of the old normal rears its familiar head, some people will return to analog shopping. But some of those long-time-listener, first-time-caller types have already been bitten by the convenience bug. They’ll be back… Online sales are in no jeopardy of suffering a loss. While no one expects another banner year in 2021, analysts are expecting growth. Especially as stores and eCommerce specialists embrace the change and work toward being a contender in their individual vertical. Double digit growth - even in a year like this - is expected. So, what’s an entrepreneur to do? Glad you asked. Let’s take a look at some strategies for riding this wave into the next three years.

Referral Marketing Infographic

Referral Marketing

There is more power in getting a simple referral that almost any other form of marketing we’ll talk about. When competition is fierce, and everyone is abiding by MAP, what’s to set one reseller apart from the rest? A customer so satisfied that they’ll take the time to refer your services. That is powerful. And really, incentivizing a referral is marketing gold.

Ask for the review. Ask for the “like.” Get some insta love. But offer a rewards program for your loyal clientele - and see how they’ll respond in kind with a few kind words It’s the gift that keeps on giving. It’s general reciprocity in action - and it’s the next best thing to meeting someone in person.

Don’t be afraid to ask for a review - especially when you’ve gone the extra mile to make a customer happy.

There are lots of tools out there, but they can certainly be pricey. The right strategy can go a long way.

Elevate Your Brand Strategy

Most Familiar Brands Rande Vick Agency

Similarly, your brand is your reputation, your voice, and your values all wrapped up into one logo, or font set. Brands, as they say, are the landscape of our age. “Turn right at the golden arches, and then left when you see the giant swoosh.” Kids learn how to read brand marketing before they learn to read words or recite letters.

But before your logo has such iconic stature, you have to understand both what your brand stands for, and what your customers (and potential customers) see it in. This may sound obvious, or easy. But it takes some planning to make sure what you’d like to present is what is actually being perceived. And so we have the modern use of slogans or tag-lines. Consider some well known slogans:

  • Just Do It

  • Think Different

  • You Deserve a Break Today

  • The Breakfast of Champions

  • Melts In Your Mouth, Not In Your Hands

  • Can You Hear Me Now

  • I’m Loving It

Some of these tell you what sets them apart. Some appeal to your emotions. Some to your tummy. Regardless, we are aiming for familiar, because familiar is trustworthy, and trustworthy wins every time. You want your brand to be clear, speak volumes and become instantly recognizable and familiar. Easy, right?

Think Different

Consider Apple’s “Think Different” slogan. Simple, right? The story of how it came to be is fascinating, and - cutting to the chase - the work of a marketing agency who worked on a whole slew of other campaign ideas before this one settled with one of the directors. And then he bet the farm on one simple idea… You may remember that IBM had just released their “Think IBM” campaign in the late 90’s? Well, “Think Different” was a response - but also timeless and iconic. Familiar with emotional appeal. Beautiful.

So, don’t run rough shod over your branding. It can make or break a good marketing campaign, and when done right, can earn the trust of would-be clients.